Seed starting

I saw an interesting way to start seeds online using a roll of thin polythene (so, plastic). Some comments said it was perlite (yet I cant find a sheet like that), and the creator if the video stated it was polythene.

How to use: You roll out this foam sheet, put compost/whetever on it and put your seeds in, roll it up like a jellyroll (fasten it somehow to not unroll), stand it on end, and keep it watered somehow (from the bottom?) To transplant/plant, you unroll the jellyroll idea to reveal the seedlings' roots. The short video I saw did this with tomatoes.

This idea would certainly save oodles of space for seed starting not so sensitive types of plants.

The problem I have with most seed starting is that so much plastic is used, and I'm not a fan of any plastic being in touch with my food plants. Unfortunately, I use flats with cells.

My question is, would anyone know of a great alternative to use that would keep roots from growing through to the other layers and not be a form of synthetic plastic?

Comments

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    I have never heard of anything like this. I'm having a bit of trouble conceptualizing it. I don't need to start tons of seeds, so personally, I pot just a few small planters made from plastic and silicon. Silicon is at the base so that they can be easily popped out. I have heard of people using a half an eggshell as a seedling planter and I think that is a unique choice. For what you are describing, would parchment paperwork?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @karenjanicki It is a very thin sheet. Kind of like this:

    I read some thoughts on using something like parchment paper and someone thought it would mold. I agree. I've done the newspaper pots before and they grew pretty icky mold.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I had not heard of this, and my first thought was hemp—-but the roots would definitely grow thru the other layers!

    How about felt?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @water2world Perhaps. 🤷‍♀️

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never seen that but why not buy some hydroponic sponges and wrap them in the plastic wrap or even just stick them in a plastic tub. You could easily take those apart.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @kbmbillups1 The point of this jellyroll idea was to start plants off in a very tiny area. The roots would grow down and a little across. I'll have to see if I can find an example. It was on Instagram, so I'm not sure if I can find it.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, I feel like mold could be a real issue with paper. Also couldn't the moisture make the seeds rot? Paper tends to stay wet for a long time.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    I imagine you wouldn't leave to soaking wet, just damp enough for the rolls. But, that can be tough to do.

    The paper pots didn't make the seeds rot. The mold was on the paper itself.